Jack White’s gift to the National Recording Preservation Foundation

Jack White, probably best known for being one half of the White Stripes, gave $200,000 to the National Recording Preservation Foundation. This is an organization committed to preserving audio from America’s past.

The National Recording Preservation Foundation is finally up and running, thanks to a $200,000 gift from the Grammy-winning rocker Jack White.

The inaugural gift, which is being announced Monday, allows the foundation to award grants and begin work on the National Recording Preservation Plan, which was issued last year. The foundation was created as part of a 2000 congressional act to organize and preserve the nation’s radio, music and recorded sound history.

“It’s thrilling,” Executive Director Gerald Seligman said, to be able to publicly launch the foundation. He cited White and foundation board members as extremely committed to preservation.

“Here we have a whole nation of cultural heritage in recorded sound [and] a lot of it is in precarious shape,” Seligman said. “Some was recorded on very fragile media — like old cylinders, acetates, reel-to-reel tapes — and it’s turning into shards.”

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